Norway blow away Scots to top Group A

Scotland 0-5 Norway A dominant display from the hosts sees them take Group A on goal difference and set up a semi-final with Spain on Thursday.

Norway celebrate after Lisa Naalsund (No6) adds the second
Norway celebrate after Lisa Naalsund (No6) adds the second ©NFF

Hosts Norway cruised into the semi-finals of the UEFA Women's European Under-19 Championship after a resounding display against Scotland ensured top spot in Group A and a last-four tie with Spain.

Norway take first in Group A with dominant win
• Clausen, Naalsund, Skinnes Hansen score in first half
• Markussen and Jensen on target in second period
Semi-finals: Norway v Spain; Ireland v Netherlands

The game was a must-win for the Scots if they hoped to clinch a maiden semi berth, but they were never given a chance to settle as Jarl Torske's side flew out of the traps. The opener arrived after just ten minutes when a corner from the left evaded everyone in the area, only to be sent back in by Synne Jensen. That allowed Marit Clausen to bury a sharp chance with her head from close range.

Just four minutes later, the lead was doubled. Scotland goalkeeper Megan Cunningham produced two outstanding saves during a scramble in the area, but the ball eventually dropped to Lisa Naalsund, who made no mistake. Cunningham kept out Jensen with another fine stop but Norway pressed on, Jensen's ball freeing Synne Skinnes Hansen to round the Scottish No1 and calmly slot in ahead of the interval.

Synne Hansen makes it 3-0
Synne Hansen makes it 3-0©NFF

There was a response after the restart as Zoe Ness crashed a shot against the bar following a smart turn in the area, but Norway always seemed in control and extended the lead when yet another Cunningham save fell to a Norwegian, this time setting up substitute Marie Markussen to drive in from five metres.

Jensen then got the goal her performance deserved in the dying moments, hitting a fine effort to ensure that the hosts topped the section on goal difference ahead of the Netherlands, with Spain awaiting in the last four on Thursday.

Gareth Evans, Scotland coach
That was very, very tough. It was obviously very hot for both teams and we seemed to run out of steam. Full credit to Norway - they were absolutely fantastic. With a performance like that they must be favourites to go on and win the tournament. The journey for us as a group has been fantastic.

Synne Jensen nutmegs Claire Williamson
Synne Jensen nutmegs Claire Williamson©NFF

A Scottish girls team had never won at a European Championship finals before, so these girls have created history. We take some pride in that – we don't feel great at the moment after today's defeat, but given time I'm sure the experience of being here and playing against top class opposition will stand them a good step for the future.

Jarl Torske, Norway coach
I'm proud of what the girls did. They played good football, timed the transitions well, timed the pressure well and kept a good pace to our passing game. Keeping a high tempo was our strategy in order to tire Scotland and create space, which we certainly got. I think the game plan worked perfectly.

It was great having five goalscorers and that shows the depth in our team. We now have seven goals in three matches. We made some changes due to injuries and those who came on really delivered. We have had a lot of focus on getting the substitutes to contribute; they have been very good in training and have delivered as we saw today.

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